Author: Mr. Wajahat Tahir
Rarely would have one never come across anyone on campus so far who has not underestimated KAIST for myriad of reasons: from lack of non-academic opportunities to unnecessarily pressurized academics, many reasons have been expressed as disappointments. But as a famous proverb emphasizes, the view depends on the glasses you wear, these are our perspectives that define quality of our life. For some, it is a place to only survive through, while for the others, it is an ocean of opportunities to be explored and utilized. The former lot, presumably, fails to figure out the causes behind the latter’s perspective, ending up striving in oblivion. To justify both the perspectives, the analysis boils ends up on comparison, which crushes our expectations.
Every institute in the world is different and has its own idiosyncratic package of opportunities to offer its students and KAIST is not different in this case. Unfortunately, every KAISTIAN steps in the campus with his own set of expectations, which has roots in his previous institute or any of the other renowned one around the world, failing to set aside a space for the uniqueness of the MIT of Asia. But with a bit of deeper look into it, KAIST has a lot to offer its students for growing personally, academically and socially, turning into the leaders who would positively change the world for future.
A cursory look into KAIST for opportunities, one each at a time, gives an amazing idea of what is offered on the campus and what is taken for granted by many of us. A single glance, as a first comer, would unveil its exceptional ranking, highly-qualified faculty and rigorous academics that we have been seeking throughout our college search process, but a deep analysis, as its student, reveals much more that it is apparently offering. Academically, the flexible major selection, opportunity to learn through combination of major and minors, frequent exchange programs to anywhere around the world, and even undergraduate research programs would flood one’s thirst with all the learning opportunities. The internship offers are unique in their own selves, exposing students to working in world’s leading companies. As their rarity is a fact on one side, a combination of basic language skills and good searching effort surely landing students at ideal places is a truth on the other. Coupled with them, KI House at KAIST literally hunts for students to equip them with language skills-a major barrier for every international student-needed to ace in a foreign land, a platform students are on for turning nascent dreams into realities. With those chances, to boost academics and target best careers, mentioned, the last, but not the least one, is job fair held very often for those who are seeking to land at their dream places. With that all, KAIST can be almost equated to the best places for spending your precious years at to prepare for long-sought careers.
Out of academics, it isn’t lagging much behind those that offer everything in an effort to let students live well-rounded lives on campus. Diversity is its first offer to students coming straight from their hometowns to experience different cultures, learn about various traditions and form lifelong bonds with people from diverse backgrounds. With a special focus on international students, the institute’s efforts have also materialized into KISA, a student run council with an aim to not only work for the smooth transition of international students into KAIST life but also being their voice to the school and providing them the major opportunities, like international food and sport festivals, to make the most out of their life on campus. The international student clubs, including KAIST International Football Club, Frisbee Club, and Cricket Club, are some of the sports clubs to let students hone sports skills and entertain on campus. Bizworld is another name every international would come across on campus. A student club tirelessly working to organize an international business conference on campus for students, interested in different start-ups, Bizworld does a tremendous job for KAISTIANS by exposing them to entrepreneurial knowledge and inspiring them from renowned speaks in the business world.
An article to list up numerous opportunities would be too short to do justice to KAIST. Even Korean clubs, many of them getting active with time, have now started to recruit internationals. The majority of them would, definitely, take time to become famous among internationals on campus. The major opportunities mentioned, the haven for traditional cooking, International Kitchen at W7, temple stays every semester to give cultural and religious experience, or even cycling around the campus in Daejeon is not less than an opportunity international students are exposed to at KAIST.
In a rough summation, KAIST, a globalized institute in making, is booming with opportunities for students to lead a well-rounded student life, but the difference comes from a wise balance between academic and extracurricular balance with importance of each understood and considered thoroughly. No doubt, an unforgettable experience, and kick-start into bright future, awaits everyone at KAIST with a bit of wise decision-making in between.
Disclaimer: This article was submitted by Mr. Wajahat Tahir for Write for KISA programme. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of KAIST International Students Association (KISA). For more details visit the Write for KISA page.Read More